View Full Version : Anyone here ever quit their job and start their own business?

Mar. 17, 2012, 10:26 AM
I am on the verge of doing just that, and the emotions are overwhelming. I hope it will pay off in the long run, and know that I do have a job I could come back to if it doesn't work out.

I'm 30, I rent an apt at a low rate my from my parents, I'm single, no kids. There is probably no better time than now, but like I said, I am totally nervous but optimistic.

Anyone have some positive stories to share?

Mar. 17, 2012, 10:45 AM
I just adopted a horse from a fantastic rescue foster home. The foster mom runs a boarding business and garden compost business from her home farm. The compost comes from horse manure!!! She makes decent money, judging from her very nice barn. She told me her mother always taught her to do what she loves, so she did. I envy her. I hope to do some horse training once I retire, but the income will only be "supplemental".

Mar. 17, 2012, 10:59 AM
I have not done this but am hoping for some positive stories as well. I'm in a job that makes me miserable, I work long hours and find myself resentful at the end of the day. I'm a baker, and have been baking on the side for extra money and sanity anyway and would love to quit my job and open a bakery. I just don't know about financing in this economy. There is no bakery in the small town I live in and I know there would be interest. I am actually going to a local restaurant today with some samples. I'm hoping if I can already have a few local vendors then it'll be easier to get financing. Good luck to you! And I'd love to hear other encouraging stories.

Mar. 17, 2012, 11:11 AM
I have been working 12 hour days for the last 10 years, with very little to show for it. I feel like my work life is a collison of Office Space and Groundhog Day.

I would be going from the auto business to the lingerie business, so the change would be quite drastic :o

Mar. 17, 2012, 11:28 AM
If you like escape fiction, I would suggest you read Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. The main character starts out as a lingerie buyer... :winkgrin:

Mar. 17, 2012, 01:03 PM
My husband's old job shut their doors with zero warning 3 years ago. We'll celebrate our company's 3rd birthday in a few weeks. We have 9 employees plus ourselves, and are looking to hire #10.

I won't say that I wouldn't do all again (because I would) but you don't realize how nice the hamster wheel is until you're the one that owns the hamster wheel. I would never resent the hamster wheel again had I a need to go run on one.

I would say do not do it unless you want to go on an adventure. An expensive, stressful, heart-wrenching adventure with a VERY high chance of failure. 50% of all small businesses fail within a year, and of the ones that have been around 3yrs+, they were the third attempt for the owners.

Don't do it looking to lower your stress, get away from shitty coworkers, set your own hours, stop working long hours or make money.

You will in fact RAISE your stress levels, you will now have to deal with employees/customers/suppliers/vendors, you will watch money come in and bleed out and any extra you carefully hoard instead of spending on a new saddle, and while you will set your own hours, you will set them to be 14 hour days 7 days a week. This will last for years.

I regret nothing but I won't say it has given me the rewards one normally expects to get from owning their own business. But we're only 3 years in, so I figure I've got another 2-4 years.

Mar. 17, 2012, 01:14 PM
I would be buying the core of my inventory from a woman who is closing up shop in town after 20 years (she is approaching 80, and doesn't want to keep putting in the long hours). I would keep her stores name, her vendor accounts, and she would come with me to act as my mentor when I start up. Unfortunately, before her and I started getting serious with discussions, she told her landlord that she would retiring in the next few months, so he listed her store and already leased it to someone else.

I am basically taking a portion of her business (she had full lines of clothing, and I want to focus on the lingerie), and updating it. She doesn't have a website, her client base were seniors (like her), and she didn't do much in the way of advertising. My vision is to bridge the gap between generations and make a place for all to shop (with a focus on hard to find sizes).

Trying to secure a suitable location has been the most difficult part. Staying in budget, a reasonable space, etc is quite difficult.

Fortunately, I am in close proximity to NYC so I have easy access to the showrooms for the lines I want to carry, have already met with the vendors, know what my opening orders are, and just have get a space to send them too.

Everytime I turn around there is someone else to pay. Accountant, lawyer, insurance, but I know this is part of it. I am putting a ton of money out of my pocket, but it is only money, and if it fails I will have time to recover.

Presently I work 50 hours a week (including every weekend), and up until a couple years ago, I had a part time job, so 75 hour weeks and going months without a day off was the norm. Being in a boutique in town will limit my business hours, but I am well aware that there is plenty to do when the doors are locked.

I hope I can pull it off. I have spent years researching this.

Mar. 17, 2012, 01:50 PM
I'd say retail isn't so great with online ordering EXCEPT in the case of lingerie!

As someone who lives in a small town with nowhere to shop bras, I order them online. And it is definitely hit or miss!

Good luck to you. I started my own business (boarding retired horses) which is flourishing; but I also had my husband's salary and our savings to fall back on. It never will make enough to live on, but is a nice addition to our income.

You'll have to keep us posted! You could also think about doing unusual marketing -- like starting a blog about the move from the rat race to owning your own business, and the things you do each day. How many people would like to live vicariously through you?! (This is not an original idea, my cousins bought a derelict building and spent two years renovating it, keeping a blog about their progress, before they opened their restaurant. The restaurant was a hit from day one because there was a loyal following of the blog).

Mar. 17, 2012, 02:54 PM
One of the other great things about the lingerie, is that the majority of what I sell is price protected.

When it comes to something so personal, I like to be able to to touch and see what I am paying for instead of ordering online. Service will be a huge part of what I do, and of course I am trying to come up with unique ways to market myself.

Blogging could be fun!

Blue Aurora
Mar. 17, 2012, 03:29 PM
I quit my office job nine years to open a gift store and I have never looked back. The long hours, dealing with employees and customers are challenging but in the long run they are also rewarding. I am fortunate that my store is in a very popular summer resort area. I have a pretty much guaranteed strong sales for at least three months a year.

I question your decision to buy the name and inventory from the existing owner. If your inventory focus is just lingerie and your target demographic is much younger, you may be better off with a name change. Is there value in the name when you want to make significant changes? A fresh start with a new name may be easier than trying to get young people to come to "an old lady" store. Your store will become a reflection of you and it is harder to change the name later.

You may just want to buy some of the fixtures. Vendors don't care about anything except your ability to pay. Unless the current owner is going to guarantee your payment there is no value in her "selling" you her vendors. You will need to complete your own credit application process.

Good luck! Retail is a fun and creative way to make a living.

Mar. 17, 2012, 06:17 PM
I started my own public relations firm 20-plus years ago and my husband started an importing company 12 years ago.

For me, the transition was pretty easy. I was already in PR and my agency released me from my non-compete so I was able to walk out the door with a large client. I also continued to work for my old firm as a contractor for a couple of years as I had some very specific industry experience that was hard to duplicate).

I love having my own business but there certainly have been years when it's been very stressful. I don't deal with inventory, warehousing space, etc. which can be tough. My husband has a lot $$ tied up in inventory and sometimes it's hard to know what to keep in stock.

My sister-in-law has a consignment furniture store that she's really enjoyed and has found profitable. The hardest thing for her is to find reliable help.

Mar. 17, 2012, 06:36 PM
10 years ago I quit a really good job as a legal secretary and started a house cleaning business. I ran the house cleaning business for about 7 years and it was very successful. It was scary as hell but I have never regretted it. I cut back and got rid of all of my employees a few years ago to start the rescue and it was wonderful being able to do that. I don't think I could ever go back to working for someone ever again.

Mar. 17, 2012, 07:32 PM
i've posted this before, so sorry if i'm becoming a broken record.

anyway, i was a kept woman until my husband became ill.
he had to retire years early and we lost our income.
i got the two of us and our tenant (who had just been laid off so we were all freaking out) into training and within three months we were certified to care for the disabled in our home.

our wonderful tenant is still with us almost four years later and we have two people who live with us full time.

we are adding two more and will be at full capacity then. and full income stream too,lol.
the lifestyle works for us really really well. it's sort of like having kids in the hosue again, and they are gone most of the day doing arts and crafts etc so we have plenty of free daylight time.

the guys love the animals and horses especially, and i am lucky enough to have two therapy quality mounts.

one thing we've found is that the therapeutic riding centers cater mostly to the physically disabled who need leaders and walkers.

one of my guys can now catch and halter his horse (she doesn't mind if it's upside down and inside out either, which it inevitably is, lol) so he can get her and lead her to the mounting block, mount her and ride her by himself bareback around the yard.
he was bored out of his skull being led around before.
he's also turned into quite a good barn helper--a job he can accomplish and feel really good about.
and i like the help too!

i mention the riding piece because the mentally retarded are very under-served in the equine therapy world in case someone is looking for a niche market.

Mar. 17, 2012, 07:35 PM
I haveb't done this, but I keep hearing that the best way to do this is to start your own business, but keep your job, and then when your business is keeping you so busy that you can't do your other job too, THEN you quit your job.

Makes sense since most new businesses take 3-5 years to make a profit....

Good luck! :-D

Mar. 17, 2012, 07:39 PM
I haveb't done this, but I keep hearing that the best way to do this is to start your own business, but keep your job, and then when your business is keeping you so busy that you can't do your other job too, THEN you quit your job.

Makes sense since most new businesses take 3-5 years to make a profit....

Good luck! :-D

I wish it was possible to be in 2 places at once, but I can't do 50 hours a week at my job and open a retail store :no: